Saturday, February 16, 2008

Bilateral Relations: Spain objects to Putin's reference to separatist movements

Spain has protested to Russia over remarks by President Vladimir Putin in which he likened the situation in Kosovo to that in Spain's Basque and Catalan regions, said a foreign ministry source.

The Russian ambassador was told of Spain's "surprise" and was asked for an explanation for Putin's remarks.

Putin told a news conference in Moscow, "Aren't you ashamed, you Europeans, to have double standards to solve the same issues in different regions of the world".

"What's the use of encouraging separatism? People don't want to live in a Spain in the heart of single state. Well, let's support them then!" he said, in reference to the separatist movements in Spain northern Basque Country and eastern region of Catalonia.

The ambassador told Spain's Europa Press agency that the remarks were not intended as interference in the Spain's internal affairs.